Rough Scan








 
      "THE 
        LORDS"
      YESTERDAY morning Betty an’ me 
        were in Argyll Street, an’ seeing a great crood I spiered at a big laddie 
        what it was aboot, an’ he said it wis a wild beast show coming in. Sae 
        I got Betty planted up against a lamp-post tae wait for the procession. 
        In a wee I hears a great crying "They’re coming!" "they’re coming!" 
        Betty grippit me by the airm, as she whispered, "Gudesake, Jeems, 
        I hope nane o’ the teegurs ‘ll break oot." Seeing a sweetie shop 
        handy tae rin intae, I whispered tae her that there was nae fear; an’ 
        getting a bit lassie planted before me as a sop tae throw tae the
      teegurs, 
        I waited patiently.
      First cam’ aboot ten raws o’ heartbroken-looking 
        men, unco prood like, tho’, as if the crood wis gethered tae dae honour 
        tae them; then cam’ twa or three thoosand ragamuffins. I never thocht 
        Glesca contained hauf sae mony ne’er-do-weels as was there. They were 
        nae doot hurryin’ awa doon tae get in before the crush, altho’, if they
      liket, they micht hae taen—no’ only the show, but the haill Trongate by 
        storm. Then cam’ an extraor’nar fine man in kilts, wi’ a big feather hat, 
        followed by twelve braw fallows playin’ the bagpipes an’ drums; an’ then 
        a wheen polismen, a’ wi’ new blue suits an’ white gloves, wi’ three prisoners 
        atween them—fine, weel-dressed gentlemen they were, wi’ axes. Next there 
        appeared the Provost an’ Bailies, a’ in coaches an’ cocked hats, wi’
      postillions.
      It struck me it maun be an extraor’nar 
        fine show whan they cood get the Provost an’ Bailies tae turn oot in the 
        procession, till I heard somebody sayin’ it was "the Lords." 
        Weel a weel, I thocht tae mysel’, it was strange that sich a palaver wis 
        made aboot tryin’ a wheen folk for stealin’ pocket naipkins. Then cam’ 
        folk mounted on omnibus horses, with cockit hats, tootlin’ awa’ on bits 
        o’ brass trumpets, an playin’ an Italian tune, a gentleman said—I kent 
        it was nae Scotch tune, onyway; it micht hae been a Chinese ane for ony 
        music there wis in it tae me. Then six or seven carriages, fu’ o’ judges 
        wi’ wigs on, a’ lauchin’ awa’ an' no seeming tae care a straw for the 
        sorrowfu’ wark they were tae be engaged in. Then a wheen mair pegs; then 
        the fower executioners wi’ their axes a’ ready—weel sharpened, nae
      doot. 
        Betty said tae me she thocht they hung the folk; but I said, "My 
        woman, they used tae dae that, but noo, ye ken, it’s a’ dune in private, 
        an’ I suppose they think cuttin’ their heids aff is the quickest way; 
        at onyrate, there they are; ye'll surely believe yer ain een," an’ 
        she at once agreed wi’ me.
      But the maist sorrowfu’ o't was tae come. 
        In a fine big coach, wi’ fewer horses, sat twa respectable auld gentlemen, 
        weel put on, wi’ lang white hair. They must hae been guilty o’ some fearfu’ 
        crime, for they were guarded roon an' roon wi’ sodgers wi’ fixed bayonets, 
        in case they wid rin awa’. My heart wis sair for them ga'in doon tae be 
        tried—for their lives, likely—an’ them auld enough tae be gran'faithers
      —sae innocent like, tae, that I wis
      feart, BAILIE, that they had made some mistake an’ grippit the wrang men. But 
        it’s a sad worl’, BAILIE; ye canna trust yer next door neebor.
      I wis sae heart-sair that I got Betty 
        awa’ in tae a British Workman Public-hoose, an' ca’ing for twa cups o’ 
        tea an' twa cookies, I turned my face tae the back window, whaur there 
        wis nae eye tae see me bit twa cats—a red ane an' a white ane—sittin’ 
        on the slates o’ the washin’-hoose, all I wept for puir frail humanity.
      I can add nae mair, but I hope tae see 
        in the papers the twa puir auld gentlemen hae either get aff wi’ not proven," 
        or else, on accoont o’ their years, wi' a sma’ punishment with-oot hard
      labour.